A blog where women are inspired and encouraged to grow in their relationship with Christ.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
I've been asked several times recently to share this small piece of my story. It's sometimes difficult for me to be this vulnerable. I pray that you will hear my heart and that God will be glorified... even though my words may be lacking.
I have continual head pain. I haven't been without an intense headache since I was nineteen (more than a few years ago!). Most weeks the intensity increases to migraine status that lasts from two to five days.
I've lived a long time with this pain and it's had a profound effect on my life. At times it's limited my ability to think clearly, it's affected my memory, and prevented me from fully engaging in the life I would choose for myself.
Many years ago I became so consumed by the pain that I descended into what I call my "black-hole" experience. It was a time of despair, loneliness, and grieving the loss of the life I so desired.
For years I cried out with a desperate heart to our Great Physician and begged for healing. For years I fought against disappointment and despair as the pain continued.
One evening, after an especially long day of migraining (yes, I've relegated it to verb status), I found myself lying on the bathroom floor literally writhing in pain. Honestly, I just wanted life to be over...I'd had enough. It was at that time that our merciful Great Physician chose to show me a remarkable healing life truth. He so strongly impressed upon my heart to "Praise Him in the midst". No, it wasn't an audible voice, but a soul deep 'knowing' that he etched into the deepest places of my being.
In John 12:3, it speaks of Mary of Bethany. I absolutely love this story!
Mary entered the room carrying a long-necked alabaster jar of very expensive perfume. She broke the neck and poured the perfume onto the feet of Jesus. Then she did something very personal and intimate. She unbound her hair and wiped His feet with it... even though a respectable woman did not let down her hair in public. She didn't care what anyone thought. Her gratitude for her brother's life, her faith that Jesus was the Messiah, and her love for Him, personally motivated this sacrificial act to express her utter praise and devotion. This was her way of publicly declaring her total abandonment and commitment to Jesus Christ...and fragrance filled the air!
In the very midst of my pain, it was though I held an unbreakable vial of sweet smelling perfume of praise in my weak and feeble hands. The only way to open the vessel was for my Savior to place His strong hands over mine, and by His strength open the container, allowing the fragrant sacrificial oil of praise to pour over His feet.
And so it began...
I would sing praises in the midst of extreme pain.
I would raise my hands to Him when I felt like giving up.
I would place my thoughts on His holiness when I wanted to focus on the pain.
And when my thoughts were too scattered to make sense, I would simply say His sweet healing name...Jesus.
And so it continues...
"With Jesus' help, let us continually offer our sacrifice of praise to God by proclaiming the glory of His name." Hebrews 13:15
"Praise Me in the midst". Such simple words with such a profound life effect. As I began to praise Him in the midst of my despair, pain, depression, and hopelessness, my life began to change. No, not over-night. But yes, a noticeable difference...light in my darkness.
Did the Great Physician choose to take the head pain away? No, not yet. But in praising Him, He has brought healing to my soul. He has lifted the despair, depression, and hopelessness. He exists in my praise. As only God can do...praising Him, is a sweet life-giving, healing gift to me! How could I not be thankful for that?!
Sisters, I pray that our very lives would be the sweet fragrant oil of praise poured out onto our Savior's feet. A blessing to Him, and healing and strength to our souls.